Friday, January 27, 2017

The Competitive Effects of Information Sharing

John Asker, New York University - Leonard N. School of Business - Department of Economics, Chaim Fershtman, Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics; Tinbergen Institute, Jihye Jeon, New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business, and Ariel Pakes, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Harvard University - Department of Economics examine The Competitive Effects of Information Sharing.

ABSTRACT: We investigate the impact of information sharing between rivals in a dynamic auction with asymmetric information. Firms bid in sequential auctions to obtain inputs. Their inventory of inputs, determined by the results of past auctions, are privately known state variables that determine bidding incentives. The model is analyzed numerically under different information sharing rules. The analysis uses the restricted experience based equilibrium concept of Fershtman and Pakes (2012) which we refine to mitigate multiplicity issues. We find that increased information about competitors’ states increases participation and inventories, as the firms are more able to avoid the intense competition in low inventory states. While average bids are lower, social welfare is unchanged and output is increased. Implications for the posture of antitrust regulation toward information sharing agreements are discussed.

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